Blaming Israel for Summer, and Other Libels

August 16, 2012 12:05 am 3 comments
Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

You thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous than Egypt blaming Israel for shark attacks at an Egyptian beach.

And yet it has.

This July, Palestinian journalist Abdul-Hakim Salah found a way to argue that summer itself is part of the Palestinian tragedy.

In an article published by Maan News Agency, Salah bitterly gripes,

In Israel… [residents] might even fail to notice the burning heat as they move from air-conditioned homes, to cars, to workplaces. But…in Palestine -

presumably a reference to Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank,

an overwhelming majority do not have air conditioning at home or at work, not to mention that many do not even own a car, but rely on a tired public transport system.

Meanwhile, a large portion of people who do have air conditioning would think ten times before turning it on, fearing they will fail to pay the electricity bill.

As though Israelis – and people all over the world, for that matter – don’t use public transportation, don’t ration their air conditioner usage, and aren’t concerned about electric bills!

Salah goes further,

The group that suffers most is Palestinian laborers who work in Palestine and in Israel. Most laborers have no choice but to work under the heat of the sun for at least eight hours a day, added to the couple of hours it takes to cross military checkpoints.

Again, as though Israelis – and people all over the world – don’t work outdoors under the heat of the sun for hours every day. Utility workers, farmers, open market vendors, soldiers, gardeners, athletes, tour guides, archeologists – are all of these victims, too?

But Salah has more to say:

When forecasters tell us to go to the beach, it strikes a nerve which advocates of the two-state solution may have forgotten.

If Israel ever agrees to the most ambitious Palestinian terms for a two-state solution, the West Bank will still be left without places to cool off in summer.

Flabbergasting.

Aside from the statement’s blatant falsehood – the most ambitious Palestinian terms for a two-state solution would actually leave Palestinians with a sizable portion of the cool and refreshing Jordan River – it’s absurd that Salah wishes us to pity Palestinians because the state they claim to yearn for is not bordered by a sea or ocean.

If this is the bar for victimhood, there are a few others who qualify, including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Macedonia, Slovakia, Mongolia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgystan, Bhutan, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Zimbabwe, to name a few.

But it’s not just our unwarranted sympathy that Salah demands. You’ll notice that he singles out “advocates of the two-state solution” for criticism.

That is – and this is important – Salah wants us to believe that Israel’s demise would be an acceptable price to pay so that Palestinians could spend a day at the beach.

Forget three thousand years of history. Forget in particular the last 64. Forget international law. Forget the safety of Israel’s 8 million people and the world’s 15 million Jews.

Forget all that.

Palestinians want a day at the beach.

Do I think this is Salah’s actual reasoning? No. I have more confidence in Salah’s intelligence than that. It is our intelligence in which Salah has no confidence. He believes we will fall for this  “logic.”

He’s not the only one.

Fanatic haters of Israel use any and every pretext, no matter how outrageous and nonsensical, to portray Palestinians as victims and/or make Israel’s existence seem like a bad idea. From blaming  Zionists for the illegal drug trade to accusing Israel of “Judaizing Jerusalem” by investing millions to improve the city’s infrastructure and quality of life, there are plenty of examples that would give pause to any clear-thinking casual observer.

Such statements are nevertheless harmful in two respects:

1. Those living under governments that limit access to free and critical media tend to accept such idiocy as fact,  resulting in mass hysteria when it comes to Israel, or “the Zionist entity,” as Israel is known in such countries.

2. Even in open democracies, continually repeated lies cast a shadow – however undeserved – over Israel and its supporters.

Still, there may be an upside:

These utterly preposterous claims undermine the similarly fictitious but ostensibly more realistic allegations made against Israel. When it is so obvious that some people, organizations, and entities will go to any length to make Israel out to be Satan, regardless of reality, any rational observer must realize that their assertions of apartheid, human rights abuses, war crimes, and the like merit closer scrutiny.

And closer scrutiny invariably concludes in Israel’s favor.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.